Tooth decay, periodontal disease, or sudden trauma can all lead to premature tooth loss. The American College of Prosthodontists estimates that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. A missing tooth not only affects the look of your smile. If left untreated, missing teeth can also lead to more extensive oral health issues. Drs. Paula Stewart, Stewart Strange, and Anna McVey can create a custom dental bridge to restore function and symmetry to your smile. For patients who want added support and aesthetics, our team at Mississippi Dental Center in Jackson, MS, can also provide implant-supported bridges. Dr. Strange places dental implants at our office, allowing you to receive your treatment from start to finish all under one roof.
Why Replace Missing Teeth
While a missing tooth can dramatically affect your facial features, it can also lead to oral health issues. The American Academy of Periodontology has linked missing teeth to:
Difficulty chewing and malnutrition
Changes in your speech and pronunciation
Shifting teeth and misalignment
When your teeth shift, they can become loose in their sockets and lead to additional tooth loss. Treating a missing tooth early allows you to take advantage of the most treatment options and can save you money on additional restorative procedures in the future.
How a Bridge Can Help
A bridge is a set of prosthetic teeth held in place by two dental crowns or dental implants. The restoration can be used to replace one, two, or three consecutive missing teeth. Bridges are also custom-made to mimic the look of your surrounding teeth and blend in seamlessly with your smile. A bridge can help you eat, speak, and smile properly once again.
The Treatment Process
During your initial appointment, we will assess the condition of your smile and discuss your goals to ensure that a dental bridge is the best treatment option for you. After treating any existing oral health issues such as gum disease or cavities, we will conservatively resize the teeth adjacent to your gap in order to prepare them for dental crowns. One of our doctors will then take impressions of your smile to send to our trusted lab.
Whether you choose an implant-supported bridge or a traditional restoration, you can restore symmetry, function, and form to your smile after tooth loss.
Once your bridge is ready for placement, you will come back to our office to receive your permanent restoration. We will cement the crowns to the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile. With proper care, your bridge can replace missing teeth for years to come.
Implant-Supported vs. Traditional Bridges
If you choose to add stability and aesthetics to your bridge with dental implants, your treatment process will involve additional steps. You will first need to undergo dental implant placement surgery from Dr. Strange. Once you have fully healed, one of our doctors will design a custom bridge that securely attaches to your implants.
Implant-supported bridges offer added benefits over their traditional counterparts, including:
No alteration of healthy surrounding teeth: Since implant-supported bridges are held in place by small titanium posts rather than crowns, we do not need to modify the structure of the teeth on either side of the gap in your smile.
A healthier jaw: Implants provide a direct connection between your teeth and your jawbone, sending important regenerative signals to your bone tissue and preventing tissue loss.
Added stability: Implant-supported bridges are especially appropriate for replacing back teeth, as the force of biting and chewing requires a stable, long-lasting restoration
We can complete both your implant placement and restoration at our office for added convenience.
Schedule an Appointment
Whether you choose an implant-supported bridge or a traditional restoration, you can restore symmetry, function, and form to your smile after tooth loss. To avoid more extensive oral health issues stemming from missing teeth, schedule an appointment at Mississippi Dental Center immediately after tooth loss occurs. Call us at (601) 987-8722 or send us a message online to book your appointment.